I had a friend today that told me that she only reads non-fiction and a few of the classics (insert: War and Peace), and other self-help books etc...because she feels like she wants to learn something from the time spent reading.
But I say, if you want to remember about how it truly feels to have teenage love and angst: read Twilight.
If you want to see growing up from three unique perspectives and live the internal struggle of good versus evil in a gray world: read Harry Potter
If you need to feel the loss and anguish and insecurity of not quite knowing who you truly are: read The Hunger Games
If you want to read about the human condition in a mysterious, altruistic way: read I Am the Messenger
If you want to feel the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with true love: read The Time Traveler's Wife
If you want to realize the power of one: read The Giver
Just to name a few. They may not be classics, or factual in anyway. But in some ways, a recent novel that truly sucks you in will help you feel all the things that can't be taught any other way except by personal experience itself.
Sometimes I'll have a day where I just want to re-experience some emotion from my past. Like my complete and indescribable grief when John died. Or the rush of nervous energy when Boyd tried to kiss me for the very first time and I shied away. Or the pain that I felt after running to the point of vomiting in track practice. Or the wonder I had when I stepped off the plane in Thailand. And though life can puddle into the mundane day-by-day, I find it fascinating that those emotions are still there to be experienced whenever I want. To teach me things and to help me relate. Sometimes a track on my ipod will bring it back. Sometimes a good, hard workout outside with nothing but my thoughts. Sometimes a book; even the scriptures. I realize that when I'm good and old and all I have left are my memories, I can find in them a colorful life worth reliving. What I love even more about all of it is that it doesn't seem to matter how much education I stuff in my head or daily checklists of errands I have to run; somethings always catches me by surprise and helps me feel life.
And I think maybe that is the beginning of wisdom.